Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we know you might still be looking for that last-minute gift for your camper! Our Program Director, Kasey, shared some of her favorite camp gear gifts to help your camper get ready for summer 2017 at Camp Fletcher!

  • Chacos: These sandals and boots are a camp kid favorite; our counselors love the, too! With tons of styles and colors, our campers love having a pair that’s as unique as they are. Their durability and they have sandals and shoes and boots. Kasey, our Program Director, says they’re worth every penny! http://www.chacousa.com
  • Hammocks: “Hammocking” has become a popular camp activity, so we know our campers would love to have a new hammock to hang! Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO), Grand Trunk, and LL Bean are just a few of the many brands that are good quality and really hold up to long days at summer camp.
  • Nalgene Water Bottles: We always stress the importance of staying hydrated at camp and Nalegene water bottles make it easy! They are durable and if they become cracked or broken you can send them back to the company and they will send you a brand new one. They’ll definitely hold up during a summer at Camp Fletcher!
  • Deck of Cards: Our campers LOVE card games and are always looking for new games to share with us! Cards make a gift and they’ll love bringing them to camp next summer.
  • Flashlight: Campers can never have too many good flashlights. They definitely come in handy during resident sessions!
  • A Week of Summer Camp: If your kid is crazy about camp, then surprise them with a week-long session at Camp Fletcher! Registration opens SOON, and we can’t wait to see you back at Camp Fletcher in 2017!

 

Advertisements

Fall Programs & Events 2016

Untitled-2

Summer has ended, and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to each member of our camp family – you made this summer an unforgettable one! We’re so excited to bring you even more fun as the weather turns cold. We’ve got some great events coming up this fall, and we hope to see you soon at Camp Fletcher!

Our first event is also one of our most popular! Junk In Your Trunk, our community yard sale, is Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event is always a hit, and we’re expecting a great turn out of eager sellers looking to unload all kinds of unique items. Have nothing to sell? Stop by and shop! Seller spots are $5 and seller set-up begins at 7:00 a.m. Admission is free to the public and the gates open at 8:00 a.m. You’ll definitely want to bring your friends and family to this HUGE sale!

Click here for more information & to reserve a seller spot today!

We’re also excited to be hosting an overnight retreat this fall for 1st – 6th graders! Join us October 15-16, 2016 for fun fall activities, outdoor living skills and s’more! Cost is $35 per camper if registered by October 7. Price increases to $40 on October 8. Space is limited & registration is required. To register, please complete, sign and submit a Health History Form to the Camp Fletcher office.

Click here for registration forms, packing lists and more!

Make plans to join us for our second annual holiday event  – Dash Away 10K –  on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Camp Fletcher! Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to join us at our second annual 10K & Family Fun Day at Camp Fletcher! As the name suggests, this combo event will include a 10K, 5K and 1 Mile run on our USATF certified course (#AL15064JD) alongside a FREE family-fun, holiday themed event. There will be food trucks, kids games & activities (including bouncy houses, pictures with Santa, ornament making etc.), and a vendor area for any last minute Christmas gifts you need to pick up!

Race registration is NOW OPEN with an early bird saving of $10 on running spots until August 31st!

For more information about any of these exciting events, be sure to check out our website at http://www.campfire-al.org and ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

 

Fall Field Trips @ Camp Fletcher

Picture2Did you know that Camp Fletcher isn’t just a summer camp! The fun doesn’t end when school starts — in fact, it’s just beginning! Our outdoor education program provides public, private and home schools the opportunity to experience camp all year long. Using the outdoor education curriculum created specifically for Camp Fletcher, we encourage students to become ecologically literate, responsible citizens, in an experiential learning environment. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to promote the appreciation of our natural surroundings and the values of working together. Our aim is to teach students the concepts of sustainability and interdependency outside of the classroom walls.

Our program activities include creek ecology, archery, hiking, and low ropes course initiates, among many others. Content is completely customizable depending on your specific class needs. Additionally, our programs align with Alabama Course of Study Standards, and Camp Fletcher is accredited by the American Camp Association.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting this school year, look no further than Camp Fletcher’s Outdoor Education program! We’re now booking for fall field trips, so reserve your date before our calendar is full. For more information and an online reservation form, visit our website today!

Parent Testimonial – Erika H.

At Camp Fletcher, we’re a family, and we know we’re doing a great job when our camp parents are thrilled about their experiences each summer! If you’re interested in learning more about why Camp Fletcher is such a great summer camp experience, we want you to hear what other parents have to say. Today we’re excited to feature an AWESOME testimonial from a Camp Fletcher parent – Erika H.

Erika has two kids currently attending Camp Fletcher. Jessi, 14, has been a camper for 9 summers in our day and resident programs; Joshua, 7, has been in our day camp program for two summers.

Here’s what Erika had to say about Camp Fletcher:

erika halsey testimonial photo edit“We learned about Camp Fletcher through a flyer, handed out towards the end of the school year. Jessi had attended a different camp the prior two summers, but it felt more like child care. I appreciate that Camp Fletcher lives out the “camp” experience in its name, and that’s what I always envisioned in a camp — canoeing, hiking, fishing, and not just swimming all day. This was immediately noticeable from the other camp we had attended.

We chose Camp Fletcher, not knowing everything that we would get, and we haven’t regretted it. Within two summers of first attending, Jessi and Josh both learned how to swim at Camp Fletcher, without formal swim lessons. Jessi and Josh have come home with stories practically every day, excited about such things like catching the biggest fish in the creek or how they almost “captured the flag” and missed. Both kids especially enjoyed fishing (Josh) and hiking (Jessi).

The staff at Camp Fletcher has consistently been kind and professional. Camp Fletcher has been a great match for us because it has remained consistent. The number of campers have appeared to remain manageable and we’ve gotten to know our director and the counselors. We would definitely recommend Camp Fletcher, as we have recommended three of our closest friends and family members from Texas and Georgia, all of which have attended one or more sessions. This summer was the last summer for Jessi to attend as a day camper. However, she has always stated that she hopes to become a counselor at Camp Fletcher and volunteer her time as an adult. Camp Fletcher is a great camp.”

If you know someone who might be interested in coming to Camp Fletcher next summer, feel free to share this or any of our other Parent Testimonials with them. We’re so thankful for our awesome camp parents, and we know you won’t be disappointed with your Camp Fletcher experience!

9 Skills to Teach Campers Before Resident Sessions

PHOT0019.JPG

When you decide to send your child to summer camp, you’re already expecting them to learn a lot of different things. From improving their canoeing and swimming skills to learning how to make new friends and express themselves, campers get a lot out of their summer experiences. For first time campers, though, the transition from home to camp can be more challenging than they might expect. Even if they’ll just be gone for a week of resident camp, a little preparation ahead of time can make a big difference!

Making their bed: Campers will be expected to keep their bunk neat and clean, and making their bed is a big part of that. If your child doesn’t routinely make their bed at home, try getting them used to making it each morning so they’re comfortable making their bed at camp. It’s the little things that can make a big difference.

Enjoying the outdoors: For campers who live in cities or suburbs, spending a lot of time outside – especially in the hot summer – can be a huge adjustment. We work hard to keep our campers cool and hydrated, but some campers just aren’t used to being outside all the time. Spending time with them in parks or on short hikes before they come to camp is a great way to help smooth the transition.

Dealing with bugs: Being outside means bugs – and lots of them! Many kids are easily scared of bugs, but we want our campers to learn about nature. We want our campers to know which bugs are safe, which ones to avoid, and how to safely move them back outside if they end up in their bunk. These skills can make that first spider sighting a lot easier for a camper!

Dealing with homesickness: Our counselors and staff are trained to deal with homesickness, but it’s something to talk to your campers about before dropping them off. Having a plan will help them feel prepared when they start missing home, and having a familiar object – like a stuffed animal – can be a great way for campers to feel safe.

Getting in a routine: Campers do a lot of different activities, and most of their days are structured and planned. If this is something your child isn’t used to, letting them know ahead of time that they’ll be busy can help them adjust. Go over schedules with them so they understand what they’ll be doing, and practice getting them in a routine for meals and bedtime before they come to camp.

Unplugging: At Camp Fletcher, we are completely unplugged. We know campers are going to have a blast without screens, but no access to technology can be an adjustment for some. Consider preparing your camper by limiting screen time to help them adjust better without access to cell phones, video games and other electronics.

Spotting poison ivy and poison oak: This is definitely something our counselors will remind campers about over and over again, but your child can never hear it too many times – leaves of three, let it be; leaves of five, let it thrive.

Eating right: If your camper isn’t used to making meal decisions by themselves, meals at camp can be challenging. Campers need to eat right so they have the energy they need throughout the day, and picky eaters might be less likely to eat enough at meals. If you have questions about the meals we serve at camp, let us know beforehand so you can talk with your camper about their options and making healthy choices.

Asking for help: While our counselors and staff are very attentive, your camper needs to know how to ask for help – not just at camp. Teach them how to locate a trustworthy adult and seek assistance if they need something. There are no dumb questions and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help!

We want all of our campers to make memories they will never forget! Learning independence can be a challenge, but taking the time to prepare your camper for their time away can make the transition much smoother. Our staff and counselors are trained to insure a safe and fun environment, and we know your camper will have the time of their life when they’re prepared and excited for a resident session at Camp Fletcher!

Camper to Staff Ratio

200.jpg

At Camp Fletcher, safety is always our very first priority. We look for the very best counselors to take care of our campers, but we know that even the best counselors can get overwhelmed if they’re looking after too many kids at once. This is why we work hard to keep our Camper-to-Staff ratios low! We want to be sure our campers are able to explore and learn in a safe environment, and the success of our programs is due, in large part, to our summer staff. Camper-to-Staff ratios are super important, and keeping a low number of campers paired with a high number of great counselors is top priority at Camp Fletcher.

Meeting Standards: Accreditation through the American Camp Association requires Camp Fletcher to meet more than 300 nationally recognized industry standards – from staff qualifications and training, to health and safety, and facility management. ACA has suggested Camper-to-Staff ratios for different age groups, and this helps ensures that all ACA camps are prioritizing safety.

The Numbers: The American Camp Association sets guidelines for all aspects of camp programming, and this includes suggestions for Camper-to-Staff ratios. At Camp Fletcher, we use ratios that strictly follow these guidelines, and our older groups actually use a smaller ratio than what is suggested by ACA.

  • For Navajo campers (Grades 1-3) we use a ratio of 1 counselor per 5 campers (1:5)
  • For Pueblo campers (Grades 4 & 5)  we use a ratio of 1 counselor per 7 campers (1:7)
  • For Iroquois campers (Grades 6-9) we use a ratio of 3 counselors per 20 campers, or roughly 1:7.

Making it Work: We work hard to keep our Camper-to-Staff ratio low because it’s better for everyone. Our campers are safer, but they also have counselors who are able to focus on them and invest in them. It’s better for our counselors because they get to know their campers and develop strong working relationships with other counselors. Our counselors are a team, and they’re all working together to insure that our campers have an incredible summer at Camp Fletcher.

Whether your camper is attending a day program or a resident program, we want you to feel secure that they are safe at Camp Fletcher. We hand select the best counselors and put a ton of thought into these numbers, and we’ve developed a system that works best for our staff, our campers and you! These guidelines help create an environment where everyone can succeed and have an unforgettable summer at Camp Fletcher!

Summer Camp 2016

registration now open

We’re SO EXCITED and we just can’t hide it! Summer is almost here and we’ve just finalized our offerings for the upcoming camp season. Registration for our summer programs is now open ONLINE ONLY @ our website www.campfire-al.org. It’s going to be a great camp season and we can’t wait to welcome our campers – old and new – to Camp Fletcher!

This year, registration is available online only. You can register on our website, and be sure to take a look at our Session Dates and Rates, Parent Corner and more for all the information you need!

Day camp session fill up fast, so be sure to get your registration in as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss out on all Camp Fletcher has to offer this summer!